Mets morning briefing 9.6.11

The Mets lost to the Marlins, 9-3, as Chris Capuano had his shortest start as a Met. But the news was made before the game when Johan Santana indicated he could return to the major leagues as soon as next week and Ike Davis worked out at Sun Life Stadium and pronounced surgery unnecessary.

Tuesday's news reports:

• Santana will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Miami before the Mets face the Marlins. He then will pitch in a minor league playoff game Friday. The preference is for that game to be in the Florida State League. But if St. Lucie does not have a game that day -- it begins a best-of-three series Tuesday -- then Santana would pitch in the South Atlantic League playoffs at Savannah, Ga. With playoffs likely over after that point, Santana indicated an inclination for his following appearance -- next week -- to be in the majors for a couple of innings. That could coincide with the one-year anniversary of his Sept. 14, 2010 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Post and Newsday.

• Davis worked out for Terry Collins on Monday in Miami. He will do so the other two days of the series, too. But assuming he continues to feel no pain in his troublesome left ankle -- he feels tightness, or minor irritation -- the first baseman indicated surgery will not be needed. He expects team doctors to sign off on that route when he follows the team to New York after Thursday's series finale. Davis then should shut down activity for a month to allow the ankle to further recuperate, followed by the beginnings of his preparation for the 2012 season. Davis did acknowledge some issue likely will be with him the remainder of his career, but noted plenty of ballplayers have nagging issues. He has been told to expect arthritis. Read more in Newsday, the Times, Record, Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Also on the injury front, assistant GM John Ricco said Jon Niese (intercostal muscle strain on side) still experiences a twinge when he sneezes, so he is not close to returning. Still, Ricco indicated the Mets would not place him -- or Scott Hairston (oblique) -- on the 60-day DL to create roster room. That means the organization still is leaving open the possibility of either returning this season.

• The Mets confirmed that right-hander Chris Schwinden, first baseman Valentino Pascucci and outfielder Mike Baxter will be promoted now that Triple-A Buffalo's season has ended. Schwinden is expected to start one game of Thursday's makeup doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Pascucci, who will wear the No. 15 formerly donned by Carlos Beltran, last appeared in the majors on Oct. 3, 2004 with the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium. The Queens native Baxter had been claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres earlier this season.

Matt Harvey led the organization in wins and strikeouts, while Danny Muno had the best average. With regular seasons complete in the minors, click here for the statistical leaders. The combined record of the Mets' seven U.S.-based affiliates was 388-373. St. Lucie, Savannah and Brooklyn qualified for the postseason.

• Read game summaries in the Times, Record and Star-Ledger.

BIRTHDAYS: One-time top outfield prospect Alex Escobar, who was sent to Cleveland in the December 2001 deal for Roberto Alomar, turns 33.